Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: life (page 1 of 7)

When It Feels Like Your Life Has No Direction

I remember sitting in the library of my local community college. I was trying to figure out what career I wanted to pursue, and how to go about life while facing a chronic illness.

Any young adult can relate to the pressures of this world. It’s like as soon as you turn 18, you need to have everything all figured out.

College majors, jobs, dating, and relationships. There’s just so much to figure out, and sometimes it feels like you’re the only one without a clue of what to do–the only one without direction.

When you feel like your life has no direction, this is actually an opportunity for God to reveal His purpose in incredible ways.

A Godly Perspective

God is omniscient, which means He knows everything. He has an eternal perspective that our human minds can’t comprehend.

Although we may feel lost or confused in this life, nothing about our lives ever takes Jesus by surprise.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ (Isaiah 46:10 NIV)

Sometimes we face challenges or disappointments that rattle our faith. Whenever we face life’s hurdles, we have two choices:

We can choose to reject God and trust in ourselves (or give up), or we can cling to the promise that His ways are higher than ours.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

God’s plans may be different from ours, but that’s a good thing! My life looks drastically different than I thought it would 3 years ago, and I’m so thankful for that now.

Surrendering to Purpose 

Trusting in God and clinging to His promises starts with surrender. Often times we want our lives to go a certain way, and when there’s a plot twist, we feel lost. Other times, we just don’t know what it is God’s calling us to do.

There’s beauty in not knowing. This is where our faith can truly flourish. When God derails our plans, it’s always because His purpose is greater.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

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When It Feels Like Your Life Has No Direction

Although it may seem like we are walking in darkness, God is leading us down a path that develops faith, character, and promise.

When it suddenly feels like you’ve lost all direction, this is the perfect opportunity to say “I trust You Lord,” and surrender your future to the one who is always faithful.

A Present Direction

So we know that Jesus is good, and that we can surrender our lives to him in full trust. But what action can we take to better our lives in the waiting?

As a recent college graduate, I know all too well the haunting uncertainties of the future. What will my career be? How will I take care of myself financially?

Worrying about the future doesn’t do anything but make us feel stressed and worn out. I recently received a wise word that has helped me through this season of uncertainty.

Live in the present moment.

Although this might sound like a hippie slogan, it’s actually Biblical.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34 NIV)

God has everything all figured out, and when we surrender our lives to Him, His plans will always come to pass.

We find joy every day while focusing on the Lord and the small ministries he places before us. When we worry over our lives, we miss out on the opportunity to love others and build God’s Kingdom.

When you live a life that’s fully surrendered to God and His daily provision, there is a peace and joy that goes beyond all understanding.

Maybe we got it all wrong. Perhaps a life with an earthly direction isn’t as important as we thought. Maybe our plans are just a distraction from the true purpose God has given us.

A woman who is dedicated to Jesus has a life of purpose and direction. When we look to the Kingdom instead of this world, we find all that we are truly looking for.


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How God Turns Disappointment into Purpose

I felt the pain hit me like a tsunami as the doctor said the words, you need surgery again. After I broke my elbow last winter and had emergency surgery, I thought healing would come relatively quickly and easily.

After months of physical therapy, my movement is still restricted due to the size of the plate that helped fuse my bones together. Now that plate has to go so my arm can be free.

Whether it’s a breakup, job loss, or some other life altering event, disappointment affects us all. But where do we find healing?

If we look to the Bible, we find a woman named Hannah, who endured some heartbreaking disappointment with humility and faith. She found healing and victory, and so can we.

Becoming Vulnerable

In 1 Samuel 1, we meet Hannah in the midst of her anguish. She’s married to a man named Elkanah, but she can’t have any children. Although infertility is heart wrenching enough for women today, it felt like complete failure in ancient times.

Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah, kept provoking Hannah, causing her to weep in distress as they went up to the house of the Lord to make their yearly sacrifice.

Hannah had a choice in how to respond. She could have chosen bitterness toward Peninnah or to wallow alone in her misery. Instead, Hannah took her burden to the Lord.

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. (1 Samuel 1:10 NIV)

When we are heartbroken and in anguish, sometimes our first response is to hide from God. However, this is the opposite of what God wants for us. He wants us to be open and vulnerable. He wants raw tears and haunting fears.

Our Heavenly Father wants His children right where they are. God can only transform our lives when we let Him into our hearts.

Turning our Disappointment into Surrender 

Sometimes what we think we want isn’t always the best thing for us. Or, as in Hannah’s case, we must wait for our prayers to be answered.

When we feel disappointed, we must grieve for the loss of what we had or wanted. After pouring out our grief to the Lord, we must surrender our dreams, hurts, and expectations to God’s sovereign care.

And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11 NIV)

When Hannah made  this vow to the Lord, she knew that any future child of hers would be dedicated to God. She had to let go of her past expectations and trust in the Lord fully.

When we’ve been hurt or disappointed, trusting the Lord is a challenge. But Jesus is always in full control of our lives. Nothing takes Him by surprise–not a job loss or diagnosis–nothing.

When Hannah dedicated her dream of having a son to the Lord, she showed true faith. Faith goes beyond this realm and is found only in complete dependence upon our Savior.

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How God Turns Disappointment into Purpose

A New Expectation  

Hannah didn’t stop at vulnerability and surrender. As she pressed on in faith, her expectations changed.

She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. (1 Samuel 1:18-19 NIV)

Instead of the deep anguish of her disappointment, Hannah’s face held hope. She got up and worshipped with her family. And then her miracle finally happened; the Lord gave her a son named Samuel!

Now, we might not always get what we want when going through a disappointing situation. But when we press on in faith and worship, God remembers us.

Jesus is known for showing up in unexpected ways, and He does what seems impossible by human standards.

In 1 Samuel 2, God honors Hannah’s faithfulness in giving up Samuel to the priest so that he could serve God all of his life. In return, Hannah received many more sons and daughters, as well as the honor of Samuel becoming a great judge for Israel’s kings.

When we trust God and keep our hope in the promise of His Word, we find that He is always faithful.

Having a second surgery on my arm was not something I wanted, but I believe that God is working out a higher purpose out of what now feels like a disappointment. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that with Jesus, no struggle we go through is ever wasted. It’s a journey of vulnerability, surrender, and faith for the future.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

(Photography by Mohamed Nohassi and Annie Spratt)

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How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Getting diagnosed with a chronic illness turns your whole world upside down. Suddenly you can’t do many of the daily activities most people never think twice about. Fear becomes a constant nag in the corner of your mind, and you lose confidence in your future.

I know this because it happened to me. Getting diagnosed with POTS  and IBS was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding trials I have faced so far.

I’ve learned patience, compassion, perseverance, and most importantly, dependence on God.

I truly believe my faith and the prayers of those who love me have brought me this far in my healing journey. Although I’m not cured (yet) of these issues, I’m in a much better place than I was years ago.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make friends with others who struggle with illness. Though I hope for their healing, I’m so glad God uses us to shine a light for each other. I’m often asked how I do it. How do I manage my life when sometimes just standing makes me dizzy or weak?

Well, here you are lovely ones. My insider pro-tips on thriving with a chronic illness.

1. Set Daily Goals

Having a chronic illness can force you out of your usual routine and school/work life. Suddenly you are dependent on others, and you feel helpless.

Although it may feel this way at first, it’s actually a hidden blessing. Why? Because we are all helpless on our own.

Every human being is one tragedy away from losing everything. The only thing that can’t be taken away is our relationship with Christ. When our dependence is on Jesus, we can learn to walk with humble confidence.

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My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

Having this confidence in God is crucial in order to be fruitful and set a daily goal. A good challenge is to write down one goal you want to accomplish everyday.

Maybe your goal is to clean the house or get an assignment done. Perhaps it’s showering or a doctor’s appointment. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Just give it all you’ve got and lean on the Lord for confidence.

There are days when I still don’t feel productive. I get wiped out easily and fall asleep randomly from chronic fatigue. Not everything gets checked off on my list, but at least one thing does, and that’s good enough.

2. Make Time for Rest and Renewal

While goal crushing is fun, it’s important to balance work with rest. All bodies require rest, but in our fast-paced American culture, we hardly get the rest we need. Healing takes place when we listen to our bodies and just slow down.

It’s awesome to get things done, but don’t forget to take time to do something relaxing. Maybe this is taking a nap or warm bath. Perhaps a good book or listening to music is your thing. Find whatever it is that relaxes you and do it everyday.

The greatest rest we find is in Jesus, who renews us daily. The only way I got through five years of college with an illness is by God’s renewing strength.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

If we don’t abide in Jesus, we have nothing. If we seek Him constantly, we find physical healing, as well as spiritual renewal. Abiding in Jesus helps us bear fruit far richer than any worldly pursuit can give us.

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself in Illness

When you feel bad, it’s only natural to isolate yourself. However, constantly shutting the world out will only make things worse.

Yes, we all need time alone to rest and recharge, but surrounding ourselves with loved ones uplifts us and even improves our symptoms.

I know that when I hang out with my friends and family, I can’t do everything they can. Although I may need accommodations, I still have plenty of fun with my loved ones.

There will always be those who don’t understand or who get annoyed by you. These people will either learn to adjust, or you’ll find their friendship isn’t as deep as you thought it was.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 ESV)

How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Don’t let your limitations discourage you. You are more than your abilities. Our worth comes from the inside–the soul Jesus died to save.  No illness can stop your awesome self from truly shining.

Although living with a chronic illness is life changing, God can still use it for good. He is still a miracle worker and healer. As we wait on God’s healing, we can live for Him in faith, hope, and love.


Thanks for reading! If you or a loved one struggle with an illness, please feel free to comment below so I can pray for you.

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24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

Today is a special day, lovely readers and followers. It’s my 24th birthday and I get to share it with you! I know there are so many ideas for birthday posts out there, but I hope this one will inspire and encourage you.

Today is a day of celebration, ice cream (hopefully), and reflection. I want to reflect on 24 life lessons I’ve learned over the years–but with a twist. These 24 nuggets of God-given wisdom will be spread out evenly in the categories of love, life, and faith. I hope you enjoy!

Love

1. Never settle for less than God’s best for you. The person you’re dating might be nice, but he’s not necessarily the right one for you.

2. Keep friendships as a healthy priority when you’re in a relationship. Good friends build you up, and without them, you won’t reach your full potential in life.

3. Never compromise who you are or your beliefs for another person. This applies to all relationships.

4.  Pray and do devotionals with your boyfriend/fiance/husband every day. God will move in amazing ways when you take the time to honor Him.

5. Planning a wedding is fun and an important step, but planning for your marriage is what really matters.

6. Be with someone who makes you laugh. Life is too short not to enjoy the adventure.

7. It’s never too late to honor God and yourself with purity. Don’t let any mistakes from the past hinder you. Everyone falls short in this area; however, everyone is redeemable.

8. Make Jesus your first love, and when you’re ready, He will lead you to the one you should marry. 

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Life

1. Take a moment to look up at the sunset or the stars in the night sky. It puts life into perspective.

2. Animals are one of the most precious gifts God has given us. Treat them with love and kindness and you will be blessed.

3. If you have a passion for something, then go for it. Maybe you’ll make money from it, maybe you won’t. At least you’ll be living your life with passion.

4. Live life with balance. Fruits and veggies are important, but so is pizza. Don’t argue with me here. I know what I’m talking about.

5. You can’t fail if you never stop trying. Keep moving forward. This nugget was inspired by the Disney movie, Meet the Robinson’s. You need to see this movie.

6. Quit comparing your life or “progress” with others. Live for God instead–it’s way more fulfilling.

7. You don’t need to have life all figured out upon graduating high school. Life is unpredictable, and that is what makes it so incredible.

8.  Learn to love yourself and focus less on your outward appearance. It only distracts you from the things that really matter.

24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

Faith

1. God wants to build your character and your faith. Sometimes this will mean trials and stepping out of your comfort zone. This is hard, but so worth it.

2. Sometimes you will have doubts. That’s okay. The important thing is to tell God and keep seeking Him. Faith is found in the waiting.

3. Sometimes the best prayer is, “Jesus, I need you.”

4. The Word of God always has the final say. Don’t let lies from the devil or another person dictate your worth.

5. Don’t be afraid to dance and be wild and free in worship. David of the Bible gave his all to God, and so should we.

6. You’re never going to have Christianity all figured out. Just keep walking and keep growing.

7. You really can do anything through Christ. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

8. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, Jesus wants you. He died to save you from your sins. Jesus  wants to heal, restore, and love you to wholeness. 

24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

There you go! Some life lessons from me to you. God is still working these lessons into my heart, and I’m so grateful. Do you have any nuggets of wisdom to share with me on my birthday? Please comment below!


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What 2017 Taught Me About Hope

This blog post is co-authored by my boyfriend, Owen Wolf.

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A Year of Hope

2017 is coming to an end. Another year filled to the brim with memories that are already fading away as 2018 looms ahead with unwritten adventures.

This year has been a crazy one for me. I was heavily involved in my church and finished my last year at community college. Eventually, I decided to take a break from being a youth leader as I started my senior year of college. Not only that, but I’m also in a relationship (as you can clearly see)!

One theme of 2017 that Owen and I have clearly seen in our lives is Hope. Owen had lost hope while focusing on the temporal. He did not want to think about the road ahead.

However, I struggled to grip onto the anchor of hope in a different way. Anxiety paralyzed me as I tried to gaze into something not meant to be seen. I was trying to control my future, to set in stone what is really shifting sand.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the past or try to grasp for control of the future. But both ways of thinking can cause us to lose hope. As we have grown, Owen and I now see the importance of standing on the solid rock that is Jesus Christ.

 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:29 NIV)

Our salvation is secured in Jesus. We don’t have to worry about our past or future with God. He washes all of the old things away, and He makes all things new.

An Eternal Perspective

We need to start acting in the present while having a more eternal perspective. The Bible tells us to think about today and not worry about tomorrow, but it also tells us to focus on the Kingdom of God.

Eternity is not just some concept from the far away future; it is a reality for the past, present, and future. Eternity is in this very moment. We are eternal souls in temporary bodies.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34 NIV)

What 2017 Taught Me About Hope

My challenge for you today is to look back on 2017. What do you remember? Chances are, you only remember the highlight reels of the good and bad times.

When Owen and I tried looking back on the past two years, we found that we could hardly remember anything!

The point is to remember that this life is fleeting. It is good to live life to the fullest and be present, and to plan for the years you may have left. However, it is even more important to have an eternal perspective. Ask God what that looks like for you, and what legacy He wants you to leave.

We can hold on to hope, knowing that God is with us every step of the way and that He is ultimately in control of our lives. He has great plans for us, and 2018 is only just the beginning.

Happy New Year, lovely one! I hope you have a fabulous and blessed 2018.


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